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Betsy DeVos advocates for national school choice programs in Indy

Posted at 10:46 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 11:06:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke in Indy Monday evening to advocate for school choice programs on a national level.

DeVos addressed the crowd at the American Federation for Children's dinner at the Westin hotel where she said the federal budget, set to be unveiled Tuesday, will include incentives for states to implement school choice programs.

"Our current framework is a closed system that relies on one-size fits all solutions. We need an open system that envelopes choices and embraces the future,” said DeVos.

She did not speak on specifics of how the plan will be achieved, but she said the decision on which education choices to offer should be made at the state level.

“We've talked a lot about buildings and systems, we need to be talking about individual kids and what's right for them, and investing in and helping to encourage them to do the best they possibly can,” said DeVos.

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Shortly before DeVos was set to speak, members from the Indiana State Teachers Association protested in opposition of her appearance and beliefs on school choice.

"Public education can't really afford to have funds pulled away from it,” said protestor Nancy Beede. "They are always being cut anyway and we serve at least 90 percent of the population through the public schools so it doesn't seem right that funds should be pulled from that."

The U.S. Secretary of Education previously served as the chairwoman of The American Federation for Children, just stepping down in November 2016.

The Indiana Department of Education finds more than 34,000 students utilize the school choice scholarship. 

You can watch DeVos' full speech in the video player above.